Stars Salute (1964)

Federation for Jewish Philanthropies TV Show

Syndicated, November - December 1964

Stars Salute was an hour-long syndicated television special. Aired for the purpose of raising funds for the Federation for Jewish Philanthropies, most of the show dealt with the organization and their good works.

Streisand circa 1964Barbra Streisand appeared in a 6-minute segment which was filmed on location at New York's Edenwald school for retarded children, described by the NY Times as “a residential treatment center in the Bronx for mentally retarded, emotionally disturbed children.” Edenwald, in early 1964, was affiliated with The Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and the Jewish Child Care Association of New York.

Streisand fan T.C. told Barbra Archives that “Barbra's segment was informal. She toned herself down. She was casually dressed, if memory serves [she wore] a dark sweater and slacks, with her then trademark hairstyle, sitting with a group of children.”

Barbra Archives has never seen any stills or footage from this show. Since Barbra was busy performing in Funny Girl on Broadway in 1964, she probably had her bouffant, short hair.

Finally, Streisand fan Mitch emailed me and identified the bootleg recording. “It aired in New York in December 1964,” Mitch said. “I know because it's marked as such on the box of the copy my aunt taped at the time. I asked my aunt, who had a reel-to-reel tape recorder (not even VHS in those days!) to tape it. I made a copy for someone years ago—and all the copies you've heard most likely come from my aunt's original reel ... there are the exact same reception interference noises at the exact same moments as well as my aunt sniffling in the background (no patch cords—she recorded it just by putting the microphone up to the TV speaker!)”

Here's a transcript of Barbra's segment:

Barbra: I'm Barbra Streisand. I'm here at the Edenwald School. 64 children live here, children with many problems. In some schools, there are children who are retarded. In others there are children who are emotionally disturbed. But here at Edenwald, the handicapped are combined. Retarded children often have emotional problems ... But first each child himself must be reached. All his life he has known failure. Here, for the first time, he will be given a chance to accomplish, to succeed.

And one of the ways to get through — a new approach through music therapy. Music is used not as an art, but a tool for communication. Tempo, accent, rhythms, all are improvised according to the need of each child. Each is given a chance to set a beat; a beat the others will follow. It is a chance to be a leader; to show he can do things the same as anyone else.

With the children is Mrs. Evelyn [* can't understand last name].

Barbra: I find it fascinating that you use music in the therapy for the children. But why do you specifically use folk songs?

Evelyn: Well, of course you know, folk songs cover all kinds of feelings and they're simple songs made by simple people and they're easy for the children to do ... and as we air these feelings and share these feelings we're one step closer to health and home, which is where we really want them.

Barbra: Ok, I'll tell ya what. If you sing one to me, then I'll sing one to you.

(Evelyn and the children sang "Love Somebody Next to You")

Barbra: Well, I liked your song, I hope you like mine. Mine is a silly kind of song.

(Barbra sang "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf", accompanied by a guitar.)

Next, Barbra sang the traditional spiritual "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child." At the time, the song appeared on a Peter, Paul, and Mary album, arranged by Travers/Okun. Most likely, this is the "popular" version Evelyn and Barbra referenced.

Listen to the audio of this song from the Jewish Philanthropies television show:

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The television listing below ran November 7, 1964:

Stars newspaper ad


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